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20 Night Panama Canal & Central America Cruise from New York

20 Night Panama Canal & Central America Cruise from New York (Manhattan)

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Norwegian Gem
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    New York (Manhattan)
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    Curacao
  • Day 6
    Aruba
  • Day 7
    Santa Marta
  • Day 8
    Cartagena (Colombia)
  • Day 9
    Panama Canal
  • Day 10
    Cruising
  • Day 11
    Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)
  • Day 12
    Corinto
  • Day 13
    Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)
  • Day 14
    Cruising
  • Day 15
    Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo
  • Day 16
    Puerto Vallarta
  • Day 17
    Cabo San Lucas
  • Day 18
    Cruising
  • Day 19
    Los Angeles
  • Day 20
    Santa Barbara
  • Day 21
    San Francisco

Norwegian Gem

Norwegian Gem - Norwegian Cruise Line

Pros

Easy layout, lots of choice, refitted Haven

Cons

Longer itineraries make cruises less family friendly

Bottom Line

Wide range of dining and entertainment options keep everyone happy


Cruise Reviews

4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I'll start by saying that this is my 10th NCL cruise in the last 3 years. I'll probably do this cruise again on the October 25 to Nov 08 sailing. The first person I'd like to compliment is the cruise director Ferdie! He ... Read More
I'll start by saying that this is my 10th NCL cruise in the last 3 years. I'll probably do this cruise again on the October 25 to Nov 08 sailing. The first person I'd like to compliment is the cruise director Ferdie! He is the best I've seen. He probably said hi to me three times a day. This man is always working! The people at guest services were very helpful and friendly. Cristina and the ladies at Cruise Next were friendly and informative. Aris, Camille, Millie, Josh, Zeng were some of the cruise staff that helped make the cruise great. Simone and Rose in Photography were fabulous! The restaurant staff was very accomodating with my special diet requests. Xia Lu and Afirin were a delight to see in the shops. The Ship was My destination! I spent all 14 days on the ship. I enjoyed the 7 port days in a row with most folks leaving the $700 million dollar ship to me! Lying out on the quiet sundeck listening to a book. Pure relaxation! The production show cast with excellent. I enjoyed outstanding singers Sarah and Nick. The Spinnaker lounge is awesome. It's on deck 13 forward and has 3 walls of windows for a great view. The Bliss lounge was fun for karaoke, and dancing. I was always able to find a treadmill in the fitness center. The painting classes were fun. Lastly I must say that the other guests were great. Almost everyone was cheerful and friendly! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Gem Review The Norwegian Gem—and NCL in general—have lost a lot of its sparkle. We booked this cruise because the departure and arrival out of Boston was convenient. I had another NCL cruise out of Boston booked, but I’m ... Read More
Gem Review The Norwegian Gem—and NCL in general—have lost a lot of its sparkle. We booked this cruise because the departure and arrival out of Boston was convenient. I had another NCL cruise out of Boston booked, but I’m canceling it. Our 14 day April-May 2019 cruise on the Gem put NCL on the bottom of our cruise choices. THE GOOD: • The entertainment was very good. The production shows were a notch above. The show band was superlative • The cabin shower was spacious! • “Freestyle” service in the main dining rooms was better than expected. And wait times--even during prime-time--were minimal. • The quality of NCL’s drinks is excellent. They tasted great and looked even better. And their drink cards are some of the best afloat (but come with a VERY steep price). • Like most cruise ships, there was an excellent selection of live music throughout the ship, especially at night. • Shore excursions were good without a lot of hurry-up-and-wait. THE BAD: • Many of the Oceanview staterooms have TINY portholes that are set a foot or so into the ship. Very difficult to see much through them unless you’re a contortionist. • The cabins are TINY. Most cabins have absolutely no room for a chair or sofa in them. • There was ONE closet in our cabin. • We had ONE 110 volt electrical outlet in our cabin. • Service is the specialty restaurants was only fair. It seemed the wait staff was stretched way too thin. • Food in the specialty restaurants was good, but most portions were beyond tiny and disappointing. • The main buffet was small, and the different stations often had the same food. The main salads could be seen in about three different places on the buffet. • The buffet was a huge dumping ground for leftovers—not so creatively disguised. Breakfast too often included many leftover vegetable dishes from days gone by. • Duty free liquor prices were more expensive on board than buying them at home. Do your homework. • The staff in the buffet area was sub-standard and not at all friendly. They often ran around like there was a fire in the galley. They avoided eye contact and rarely returned a smile. • It was sometimes difficult to get reservations in some of the specialty restaurants…but they were NEVER more than ½ to 2/3 full. They make you feel like there’s a huge rush or wait to get in. There isn’t. • NCL supposedly has an hour limit on reserved chairs in the pool area. I asked the pool deck staff to clear lounge chairs that had been reserved with towels and books for over two hours and they refused. I had pictures to back up my claim, but they didn’t seem to care. • The lunch menu in the main dining rooms never changes. It’s gets boring and repetitive quickly. • The NCL app is severely lacking. Only the daily activities were uploaded. Nothing else. Other cruise lines upload menus and opening and closing times for restaurants and bars. They offer a text and calling option for $10. No one seemed to use it. THE UGLY: • The outside chair cushions are threadbare and FILTHY. The plastic outdoor sun lounge chairs are way past their prime. • The main pool area is butt ugly and old. It’s flanked by 1960 style fake plastic palm trees. An enormous, unattractive bright blue slide tunnel takes up about 20% of the real estate. Hot tubs were occasionally closed with yellow caution tape. • Most bar areas have NO server. You usually have to belly-up to the bar if you want a drink. • NCL’s “perks” are costly and not competitive with other cruise lines. Internet is $25 per day and drink packages are $100 per day for unlimited. The Thermal Suite is also about $20 per day per person IF purchased for the entire cruise. • Many fares on NCL include “free” perks. The exorbitant gratuities for these “free” perks make them NOT free. The “free” internet was less than 20 minutes per day. Buyer beware. In summary, we enjoyed our cruise. There were some true vacation heroes. Our expensive “free” drink and dining package helped a lot, but I’m not sure it was worth the high cost. Some of the staff, especially in the buffet area, were not at all friendly. NCL has both new and aging ships. I was hoping that their “classic” ships would have classic service. Not the case. They need to polish their older gems. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Embarkation did not go well. We did not get on the ship until 4 or so. There were a lot of upset people including myself and my husband. The ship was nice and organized. Our balcony cabin was very nice. Dining, well that was ... Read More
Embarkation did not go well. We did not get on the ship until 4 or so. There were a lot of upset people including myself and my husband. The ship was nice and organized. Our balcony cabin was very nice. Dining, well that was another story. We did not have one hot meal from the buffet or the restaurants we ate at. The flounder was not much thicker than a couple of pieces of paper and tasteless. I had the shrimp and mushroom Alfredo a few times and the pasta was not cooked all the way. So I ended up eating a lot of salads and fruit. The only thing hot was the coffee. Entertainment and Activities were good. Service was good. Ports and shore excursions were good until our last port got canceled due to weather going home. Yes we will go again but not in the spring and sorry but not on Norwegian. We didn't travel with children. We went on this cruise for our 47th anniversary and the only thing that the cruise line offered us was a piece of cake in one of the top of the line restaurants. No thank you. Read Less
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